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What Is the Dharma Recovery Program?

man speaking to group about what is the dharma recovery program

Recovery from addiction is a personal journey that’s different for everyone. Individuals can benefit from a range of treatments and therapies, including programs that are based on spiritual belief systems, such as the Dharma Recovery program.

For more information about the programs we offer at Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi, call us today at 662.222.2989.

What Is the Buddhist Recovery Program?

If you are unfamiliar with Buddhism, you may be asking, “What is the Dharma Recovery program, and how can it help with addiction?” Like Alcoholics Anonymous, the Recovery Dharma community is peer-led.

Members are unified by the belief that they can help one another find freedom from addiction. The program uses principles of Buddhism to overcome substance use disorders and other addictions.

Recovery Dharma welcomes all people. It is not necessary to become a Buddhist to participate in a program. The core belief of Recovery Dharma is that recovery equals empowerment. Anyone who is willing to give and receive support and apply the wisdom of Buddhist philosophies to their recovery journey is welcome.

Buddhism teaches that individuals can end all forms of personal suffering if they understand the Four Noble Truths:

  1. There is suffering
  2. Suffering has a cause
  3. Suffering has an end
  4. There is a journey that leads to the end of suffering

In the case of addiction, cravings lead to suffering. Recovery Dharma teaches that by accepting the world for what it is and not what you want it to be, you can end the suffering of addiction.

The Eightfold Path of Dharma Recovery

Answering the question, “What is the Buddhist recovery program?” can’t be done without explaining the Eightfold Path, which is considered to be the journey to enlightenment.

The Eightfold Path is a composition of the primary teachings of Buddha. In the context of addiction recovery, it provides steps for living and behaving in a way that supports sobriety.

The Eightfold Path includes:

  • Right Understanding for insight into reality
  • Right Intention for having an unselfish desire for recovery
  • Right Speech for speaking honestly and with compassion
  • Right Action for acting ethically at all times
  • Right Livelihood and earning an income through ethical means
  • Right Effort for letting go of unhealthy habits and cultivating healthy ones
  • Right Mindfulness for mind and body awareness
  • Right Concentration – including meditation or another daily concentrated practice

It is important to note that the word “right” is a translation that originally means wise or ideal. In Recovery Dharma, traditional “right or wrong” ways of thinking do not apply. The Eightfold Path is meant as a guide for happier, healthier living, not as a set of rules that must be followed.

What Is the Buddhist Recovery Program Practice?

Recovery Dharma programs meet weekly, providing an opportunity for members to meditate together, share experiences, and offer mutual support. Meetings typically begin with a reading, which is followed by meditation and focused conversation.

There are six steps involved in practicing dharma-based recovery. They are:

  • Renunciation – Committing to remain abstinent from addictive substances and addictive behaviors
  • Meditation – Developing a daily meditation practice
  • Meetings – Attending recovery meetings and being active in the recovery community, including acts of service
  • The Path – Deepening the understanding of the Four Noble Truths and incorporating the Eightfold Path into daily living
  • Inquiry and Investigation – Exploring the Four Noble Truths as they personally relate to addiction through in-depth sharing, writing, and the practice of Inquiry
  • Sangha – Cultivating relationships with wise friends and mentors in the recovery community for the goal of supporting individual recovery and the recovery of others

Each group is free to decide the flow of their meetings and may differ from region to region. Group members may choose to socialize after the meeting. Rules and guidelines are in place to ensure every group maintains ethical practices.

Learn About Dharma Recovery and More at Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi

If you are still asking, “What is the Dharma Recovery program?” or wondering if this philosophy could help you recover from addiction, call the compassionate team at Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi today at 662.222.2989. We are a comprehensive addiction treatment center offering a variety of evidence-based and complementary therapies to help you live the healthy life you dream of.